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Hundreds of immigrants arrested

May 16, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Italian police have arrested nearly 400 people -- many of them from Romania and North Africa -- in a weeklong crackdown on crime and illegal immigration, authorities said.

The sweep was one of the first actions taken by conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's new government, which has pledged to improve safety on the streets after a recent spate of crimes blamed on foreigners.

Interior Minister Roberto Maroni insisted the crackdown was on criminals, not foreigners.

"There is no problem with the Romanian community," Maroni said.

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